Once in a while, we come across stories of students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds, through their sheer hard work and grit, breaking barriers and doing well in their lives-A tea seller’s child cracked IIT; A Rickshaw puller’s son cracked AIIMS examination, and so on. Such stories inspire us and give us hope that there is more to the future of our country than what we could otherwise imagine.These success stories give us an insight into the person’s struggles and their determination to overcome those. NanGurkul is creating those success stories.
However, the reason these stories come in newspapers, TV and online media is that they are rare. If they were too common, none would bother talking about them. In a country like India, where having a poor socioeconomic background is a norm, don’t we need these stories to be created from every village, regularly?
Aslam: From a waiter to an owner of a freelancing company
Aslam was born and brought up in Delhi. His dad now works as a Safai Karamchari at Turkman Gate, while he started his career as a rickshaw driver in Delhi, some two decades ago. Aslam, after 10th class, began working as a waiter to support his family. Meanwhile, he also started working with a DJ who played in marriages and local functions. Aslam helped him with loading and unloading the equipment. Hard-working as he was, Aslam through observation, picked on the nitty-gritty of the job and started working as a DJ himself. He continued juggling with both the professions to make up for the erratic nature of job availability. He later joined a firm in Pitampura as a data entry operator. He was earning about Rs 7000 by working more than 28 days a month and 10 hours a day.
Aslam then heard about NavGurukul from one of his friends. He was cynical about such a program earlier, but later got excited by seeing the growth of his friend during his journey at NavGurukul. Rest is history, Aslam is now a freelancer and earns about ₹30,000 per month. Today, he runs his freelancing company from Dharamsala. While he is running his freelancing setup, Aslam gave his laptop to three young students in his community and trained them in Software Engineering. Aslam takes pride in being able to help more people like him and dreams of providing for meaningful employment opportunities for more and more such people.
Shivam: From a daily wager to software engineer
Shivam’s father used to work as a local merchant who would buy and sell things on a daily basis to make a living. However, his father lost a lot of money due to his drinking issues. During this time, Shivam grew distant from him due to his constant drinking issues. His father would also constantly beat his mom and create hindrance to his studies. His father was on a run after he was charged with petty theft, because of which Shivam had to drop out of school.
But Shivam was determined to go back to school and earn a respectable living, something that his father failed to do. Though keen on learning Science, he joined Commerce to save on expenses, with the help of his grandmother.
NavGurukul was started by Abhishek, an IIT Delhi alumnus and Rishabh Verma, a high school dropout. NavGurukul teaches underprivileged students to code and helps them get jobs to secure their future. Students, who have been largely ignored out of the mainstream education system are enrolled at NavGurukul and go through an intense training to ensure that they are job-ready in Software Development. NavGurukul doesn’t admit students just on the basis of their academic score. Instead, there is a very simple assessment test, passing which the student can join the institute and work for his or her future.
Personalised Learning: NavGurukul’s emphasis on individual learning through technology and a full-time facilitator ensures that no student stays behind. Industry thus gets access to the first-rate talent without incurring high costs to find the needles in the haystack.
Most of us have had access to good higher education and exposures that enabled us to achieve what we have been able to achieve. However, these students are usually left with vocations like data entry, accounting, or working as a beautician. While these vocations are equally important, but there is a systemic denial of higher order skills to them.
Today, NavGurukul runs a one-year residential course to train these students in Software Engineering. Their first batch itself proved to be a success, with students getting salaries in the range of 15,000 INR to 40,000 INR. Students who were considered academic failures are now working on designing and developing software that we use on a daily basis. Having seen the success, NavGurukul has now set up institutions which can train about 120 students every year in Dharamsala and Bengaluru.NavGurukul further plans to increase this number to 180 and launch courses in Tourism and Clinical Psychology.
What’s even more interesting is that out of these 120 students, 70 students would be girl students as they are greatly underrepresented in the higher education. NavGurukul is further working on increasing the ratio of girls.
We wish them success to enable better access to future to all the students in the country.
If you know someone who should be a part of the program – you can write to NavGurukul at [email protected] or call on their helpline number 011-3959-5141. They are still admitting new students, and your referral can change the entire life of the student.
Get more details at: http://navgurukul.org/
With #MySocialResponsibility, we aim to bring you more inspiring stories of individuals and organisations across the globe. If you also know about any changemakers, share their story at [email protected] and we'll spread the word.